B'casters turn to rebranding to break clutter in a new digitised world

Broadcast players are repositioning themselves to cater to new and evolving tastes, expand their brand identity, and add new set of audiences

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Nov 28, 2013 9:17 AM
B'casters turn to rebranding to break clutter in a new digitised world

Will digitisation be a game-changer, is a question on everyone’s mind. With Phase III in action, broadcasters may be complaining of the slow pace of RoI in terms of carriage fees and subscription revenues, but most of them have realised the long-term benefits of the move. One of which is embracing changing times.

Many channels in the last two years have rebranded and repositioned themselves citing audience volatility, which has aggravated post digitisation. Apart from this, with the pace of globalisation and education, there is also an element of audience maturity which has come into play and broadcasters have realised that fact.

Taking the growing number of young viewers into account, Sony Pix, the English movie channel rebranded itself recently. The new channel packaging can be seen in neon green, which the channel perceives as ‘eye catching’ and a hot trend with aspirational youth brands. This change has been brought about to enable the brand stay in sync with its increasing number of young viewers. On the social media front, the channel has innovated to differentiate by creating a unique character – ‘Notty Pixy’ – to represent Pix on social media. The character is positioned as a Hollywood insider who provides the latest Hollywood news and gossip with a saucy twist. The channel’s new brand philosophy is ‘Stay Amazed’.

Saurabh Yagnik, EVP and Business Head, Sony PIX said, “Relevance with time, brand identity and clutter-breaking are the three reasons for our initiative. In our new avatar too we promise to continue this endeavour and give the audience a richer viewing experience through engaging content and campaigns. The revamped look propagates the brand philosophy of being fresh, innovative and progressive. The experiment has worked and we outstood our competition post the campaign launch.”

As far as English movie channels are concerned, most of them have similar content. They differentiate themselves only through their positioning. Saurabh further shared, “Most of the Hollywood movie channels speak the same language. We wanted to break the clutter and stand for our brand value. Hence, the philosophy ‘Stay Amazed’.”

ZEE Group in the month of June rebranded its corporate identity with ‘Vasudhaiva  Kutumbakam – The world is my family’. The intent of the brand to relaunch and rebrand was to showcase its global strength and how the Group sees the global world through glocal eyes.

Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, in a statement issued, had said, “ZEE as a brand has earned global recognition over the last 20 years. Proud of its Indian heritage, ZEE is a cultural ambassador uniting millions of people in India and across the world through entertainment. As a global citizen in this rapidly connecting world, ZEE has embraced this maxim as a belief. A cosmopolitan thought that is relevant even today, it shapes our values. It guides our actions. It defines our purpose. And today, we’re proud to proclaim it to the world.”

The new brand identity was again to convey to the audience how ZEE is not only another mainline GEC channel as perceived by some, but a global brand with varied interests.

STAR India had rebranded itself two years ago with the ‘Rishta wahi soch nayi’ campaign. The campaign’s objective was to convey that the soul of the group stays intact while the mindset has moved on and is acclimatised to the changing times. Star Sports, the sports arm of the group, recently undertook a rebranding exercise wherein it presented itself as a brand not only associated with sports but also a part of it. The STAR group has also acquired a one-third stake in the upcoming Football League in India to intensify its focus on sports other than cricket. Reportedly, Star has invested almost Rs 20,000 crore in the sports business.

It is widely believed that Star Plus, the flagship channel of the group, is primarily watched by women, hence Star Sports is investing heavily in sports to get maximum male viewership in its kitty.

Channel [v], too, has rebranded its channel position again. The channel first moved from being a music-only channel to a youth GEC. From November 25 onwards, the channel is adopting a new look, with a slew of new shows. Given the core target group as youth, the channel has also been aggressive on the digital front of late.

A statement issued by the channel said, “After establishing itself as the country’s number one youth general entertainment channel, Channel [v] is all set to get a refreshed identity, a new logo to go with its new tagline: ‘V Correct Hai’, underlying the inherent brand thought – “What feels so right, can’t be wrong”. This brand refresh will also see the launch of four exciting new shows that embody this thought, as the channel continues its focus on the youth of the country.”

Change is the way forward
Broadcasting brands are thus increasingly noticing the shift in trends and also simultaneously recognising new audiences in their domain. According to Yash Patel, a senior media analyst, “Re-branding is essentially done to reinstate the brand positioning in changing times. With increased clutter among broadcasters and audience maturity, it has become essential for TV channels to have a brand identity that is not only valid but also exemplary in contemporary times. With time, more channels like brands in other sectors will re-orient and present themselves in a new fashion. It is a sign of moving on.”

Only time will tell how successful the rebranding and repositioning initiatives of various channels have been. In the meantime, reportedly several channels are in different stages of their re-branding process. Experts share that since the industry is going through a mammoth transformation in terms of content, distribution, rating, digitisation and above all transparency, the learning is coming in handy for broadcasters and hence, one can see such initiatives. 

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